Adventure Awaits Issue 03

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adventure awaits

Around the table Entertaining entrepreneur Sas Stewart on how to gather well

Rev your (electric) motors 5 electric vehicles car enthusiasts love

A most scenic season Why fall is the perfect time to travel to these six spots



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When in doubt, choose change. —Lily Leung

berkley one | adventure awaits | september august 20202021


Editor-in-chief: Stacey Silipo Managing editor: Emily Gumbrecht Lead designer: Tatjana Jovancevic Writer: Nicole Schnitzler Cover photo: Adventure Dinner/ Carey Nershi Social media: Christi Bohnsack; Emily Gumbrecht Photos and content courtesy of:: Adventure Dinner; Audi; Porsche; Volkswagen; Ford; Visit Estes Park; Maine Office of Tourism; National Park Service: Acadia National Park; The Berkshires; Visit Sedona; Saugatuck Douglas; Visit Lake Geneva


What does insurance have to do with adventure? At Berkley One, everything. Adventure Awaits is a celebration of the things that keep you moving forward, with stories from entrepreneurs, foodies, designers, travelers, artists, athletes and more. At home or abroad, at work or at play—there’s adventure to be found, everywhere.


Around the table Entertaining entrepreneur Sas Stewart on how to gather well


Rev your (electric) motors


5 electric vehicles car enthusiasts love

A most scenic season Why fall is the perfect time to travel to these six spots

berkley one | adventure awaits | september 2021


Photo: Adventure Dinner / Bob Handelman

Around the table Entertaining entrepreneur Sas Stewart on how to gather well

When Sas Stewart was looking to get the word out about her recently launched line of spirits in her new community of Middlebury, Vermont, she knew she’d have her work cut out for her. What she didn’t anticipate was the sheer amount of creative force she’d find in just one place. “I was meeting florists, graphic designers, photographers, chefs and farmers, and thought to myself, ‘What if we created an experience where people could get to know not just one singular entity, but many of them at once?”

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Photos: Adventure Dinner and (top left) Bo McKinley; (top right) Kevin King, (middle left) Kevin King; (bottom left) Ellison Estate Winery

Thus was born Adventure Dinner, a speakeasy supper series that pops up in unexpected places throughout Vermont with a mission of highlighting the state’s chefs, makers and producers. “We want to tell the stories of both place and people through these experiences,” notes Stewart. The series began in 2014, when guests kicked off an evening with a cocktail cruise across Lake Champlain to a remote rock outcropping. There, they were met by two local chefs who served multiple courses over an open fire as the sun went down. It was just the beginning. The team has hosted dozens of Adventure Dinners since, each one making its mark on a new space and collection of talent. And while every event is a special one for Stewart—from a Bridgerton-inspired tea and foraging walk to a Point Break-themed beach party— these gatherings always come back to the people. “This series really came about as a way of bringing people together for a new kind of gathering—that has been our biggest goal.” Here, Stewart shares four core insights on new ways we can understand and enjoy the gathering. berkley one | adventure awaits | september 2021


Rethink the why, when and what

Photo: Adventure Dinner / Chadwick Estey

Stewart notes that the past year has given us a pause to reflect on an always-central question: why we are choosing to gather in the first place. “We may have previously taken for granted the fact that we could gather, and this is an opportunity for us all to consider when we gather, and the biggest reason behind why we do. Most likely, it’s not going to be that you nailed the cooking temp for your appetizer—it’s going to be the chance to bring together people you care about.” In addition to the “when” and the “why,” Stewart suggests a third “W” regarding celebrations: the what. “Women often get stuck in the regimen of celebrating only the ‘three Bs’—birthdays, bridal showers and babies—and I think we can really expand on that,” says Stewart, who notes an array of other life events that can be celebrated—not just for women, but for all participants. That includes everything from promotions to times one has overcome challenges, to hyper-specific happenings, such as the joy found in discovering a new exhibit or restaurant that you want to share with others. “We can really build on our definition of what is worthy of celebrating, and what is worthy of gathering around.”

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Join forces Stewart credits the success of Adventure Dinner to collaboration, and she finds the same to be true for other gatherings, too. “When we host a get-together, too often we feel that we have to be immaculate, we have to do everything, and that it’s on us to achieve perfection—and I think that type of thinking is unrealistic and toxic,” she says. Rather, she suggests teaming up with your guests, not just to remove event stress, but also as a way of inviting guests in for a way of gathering that feels intentional. “I believe that at the core of coming together, everyone wants guidance—we want to understand what our role is at an event or in a space,” she says. One of her favorite host formulas? One person brings the flowers, another person the drinks, two people bring courses, another brings table and settings and—here’s a novel one—someone chooses the location. “Maybe it’s not where you typically would host a dinner, but they pick it, and we roll with it,” Stewart notes. “And here’s my guess—it will be one of the most memorable dinner parties you and your group have—not because it’s the right food or the right flowers—but because everyone worked together to create something special.”


Photos: Adventure Dinner and (top left) Chadwick Estey; (top right) Carey Nershi; (middle left) Daniel Schechner; (middle center) Daniel Schechner; (middle right) Chadwick Estey; (bottom left) Chadwick Estey; (bottom right) Carey Nershi

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Photo: Adventure Dinner / Chadwick Estey

“We can really build on our definition of what is worthy of celebrating, and what is worthy of gathering around.” berkley one | adventure awaits | september august 20202021


Photos: Adventure Dinner and (top left) Carey Nershi; (top right) Daniel Schechner

Challenge the ordinary, by putting people first When it comes to plans, Stewart has found that there is often more fun—and more opportunity for lasting connection—when certain rules are challenged. “I think you can be formal in informal settings, and informal in formal settings—so long as you know why you’re doing it,” she says, giving the example of unrolling picnic blankets at a wedding. “A wedding is a time to bring two families together and to celebrate love—and if that’s the filter with which you make all of your decisions, then suddenly whether or not you have the right flowers or place settings doesn’t really matter as much as ensuring everyone in attendance is being honored and included—right down to the families with kids who just want a comfortable seat,” she says. “We can choose to make people the centerpiece of our gatherings, and to build all of the delight around them.”

Cultivate comfort Another benefit to shaking up the standard event protocol, Stewart notes? A nod to the fact that your hangout is tailormade. “You can cue to your guests that this is something special—that your host has curated something just for you.” Her personal favorites? Going out of your way on greetings, and having something special to toast with. “The act of welcoming someone into the group is a crucial part of gathering. I love to organically introduce

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new arrivals to whomever is nearby, even if I think they know each other. Arriving can be stressful, and a little laugh over ‘Oh, of course, we’ve met before!” can be all it takes to jumpstart a genuine conversation.” Beverages, Sas notes, can also be an easy way to engage. “I prep a tray of festive drinks and hand them to friends as they arrive—it’s a little gift they receive as soon as they walk in the door. Big note: make sure that your non-drinkers have a handcrafted selection, too (beyond just a seltzer!) It makes the evening center on conviviality, and it goes a long way in helping everyone to feel comfortable.” The benefits of personalization can extend far beyond an event’s hours—paving the way for connection during, and long after, a one-off gathering. “When we relax the edges of a formal event, it helps guests to feel comfortable—and comfort so often can actually mean acceptance,” says Stewart, who notes that by being thoughtful about creating an inviting space, we can enjoy the company of our guests (and ourselves) exactly as we are. “In that sense, when we gather, we’re doing more than coming around a table—we’re creating centers of acceptance, in which we can strive to see everyone from every angle.”


Rev your (electric) motors

5 electric vehicles car enthusiasts love

Electric is going mainstream— and car enthusiasts are ready for the ride. With all the hum about electric models in the news (and on the roads) recently, it’s hard to believe that the first time electric vehicles (EVs) had their moment was well over a century ago. In fact, it’s estimated that a third of early vehicles on the road were electric, until the invention of the Model T made gas-powered engines popular. Flash forward to today, and electric is back in the spotlight—EV growth is reported to have more than doubled in the first half of 2021 against last year, outpacing the broader auto industry. And while this space has recently been seen by many as synonymous with one manufacturer (nearly 80% of EVs registered in the U.S. in 2020 were Teslas), today more and more automakers are debuting electric vehicles in their lineups.

Photo: Audi

What’s more, these new models are making big waves in the auto world—earning top scores from Motortrend and Edmunds, for example. Today’s EV releases boast road trip-ready bells and whistles—from smart technology and driver assistance features to impressive range and fastcharging capacities—and are more approachable and affordable than ever. From an all-American supercharged truck to one of Europe’s sleekest sustainability-savvy sportscars, here are 5 of the top EVs turning heads right now.

Porsche Taycan The name Taycan, the moniker behind the first fully electric Porsche, was inspired by two Turkish terms that best translate to “the soul of a spirited young horse”—and that’s exactly what its makers hoped for with the debut of this luxury electric vehicle. Notable features include an 800 volt battery (versus the average 400 volt), which delivers more consistent highoutput performance both on the road and at the charging station (during optimal conditions, expect a main battery charge from 5 to 80 percent in just 22 minutes). Chassis development was also key in its production. To create a luxury sedan first and a sustainable vehicle second, the brand outfitted the model with adjustable air suspension, rear-axle steering and active sway-bars, allowing for a smooth, comfortable ride when rounding corners or hitting the highway. Natural stability can be further credited to an under-the-floor battery pack and the low center of gravity it provides.

Ford F-150 Lightning Ford’s shift toward electric has started with some of its best-selling models—including the F-150. Set to release next spring, many believe the Lightning version will live up to its reputation, packing serious power—and serious space. Case in point with the Mega Power Frunk, a front-loading trunk featuring 400 liters of volume and 400 pounds of payload, in addition to a total target payload of 2,000 pounds (meaning that yes, you can now bring both full-size golf club bags). If you’re worried about those extra pounds weighing down your ride, know this—with a targeted 563hp and 775-pound-feet of torque on the extended range version, it’s the fastest Ford F-150 ever (tackling zero to 60 miles per hour in the four-second range). Photo: Ford

Photo: Porsche North America

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Volkswagen ID.4 Though Volkswagen built several experimental EVs in previous years, they were adaptations of existing traditional engine vehicles— making the ID.4 (and ID.3) the brand’s first EVs built from the ground up. Debuted just this March, the model comes with an 82 kilowatt-hour battery pack that gives the Pro S version an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles and a 201hp electric motor (that enables it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds.) Other features for tech fanatics? “Hello ID.,” a voice-activated assistance; ID.LIGHT, a windshield base light that responds to various vehicle situations and a full suite of Level 2 Automated Driving assistant features.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford has also expanded its portfolio with the Mach-E, an all-electric Mustang SUV that’s designed to be just as fun to drive as the original. And they’ve kept the changes coming with this model, as seen with over-the-air tech updates that affect performance and software, the latter of which can be read on a whopping 15.5-inch touchscreen—the first of its kind for Ford. These features will be combined with this fall’s BlueCruise update, the brand’s hands-free highway driving system, and a panoramic fixed-glass roof.

Audi e-tron Audi is going big on electric— they expect 30 percent of sales to come from electric vehicles by 2025 and plan to launch EVs exclusively starting in 2026. Their current lineup includes five EVs in the portfolio already—including the e-tron, their first fully EV that carries several selling points, from a 220-mile range to an award-winning MMI (Multi Media Interface) to qualification as an IIHS 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK+. The makers didn’t sacrifice luxury in the process, either—buckled in, drivers will experience this brand’s quietest cabin (beating out even their highest-end rides, including the A8).

Photo: Ford Photo: Audi

Photo: Audi

Photo: Volkswagen

Citations: Information on each model was provided by the manufacturers of the autos spotlighted

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It’s finally fall, a season that brings fresh starts, crisp air and cozy layers—and, as it turns out, the perfect time to hit the road. Between temperatures cooling down and summer crowds on their way out, many of the country’s premier destinations are quickly becoming all the more desirable with seasonal attractions—not to mention the sights and staples these spots boast all year long.

Photo: John Berry

From epic Arizona landscapes to a state park full of starry skies, here are six trips worthy of fall travel.

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Estes Park, Colorado Wildlife spotting and brisk mornings Why fall: Fall is arguably the best time to experience a little bit of everything at Estes Park— the base of Rocky Mountain National Park and a town home to ample forests and stunning valley views. While September is still considered peak season, this quickly tapers off to reveal slower tourism in October and November and an often-ideal climate of refreshing mornings and comfortable, sunny afternoons. Shoulder season is also mating season for much of the wildlife here, meaning spottings (including elk, mule and deer) are almost guaranteed. Embark upon Gem Lake, a trail accessible via Lumpy Ridge Trailhead that provides a meditative path through a landscape of aspen groves, along with a panoramic view across the entire park (and Longs Peak). Elk Fest at Estes Park (top, photo: Ohara Photography) and a drive through the mountains (bottom, photo: John Berry)

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin A summer lake retreat— More accessible in autumn Why fall: Lake Geneva is a favorite for day and weekend trips alike, but summer months can bring impressive crowds. Fall is the perfect time to experience the town’s less-busy months and all they have to showcase: ornate lakeside mansions, abundant water activities and myriad restaurants and shops. Try a visit to Black Point Estate and Gardens, a mansion built in 1888 that represents one of the most respected examples of Queen Anne design in the region. Continue house-spotting along the Geneva Lake Shore Path, a 21-mile stretch through the backyards of the town’s historic (and highly acclaimed) lakefront homes. Afterwards, you can always unwind in one of the town’s top restaurants, such as Pier 290, Savoy, Opus or Crafted Italia, and come morning, grab a coffee and pastry to-go from Inspired, a café led by and benefitting those with developmental disabilities. Architectural details and a cozy interior at Black Point Estate (top and middle left, photos: Black Point Estate); Lake Shore Path vistas for all seasons (middle right and bottom, photos: Visit Lake Geneva)

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Acadia National Park, Maine Night skies and easy terrain Why fall: In autumn, this park’s dark skies and minimal light pollution make it perfect for star-gazing—and celebrating, as evidenced by the Night Sky Festival (happening this year from September 29 to October 3 and bringing with it a full lineup of events and speakers). If you’re more of a morning person, this park offers a perfect spot for you: At 1,530 feet high, Cadillac Mountain stands as the highest point along the North Atlantic Seaboard—meaning that starting in October, its summit is the very first place in the U.S. to catch the sunrise. It’s accessible via a moderate 4.4 mile hike for those who dare to start their hike with headlamps—or by car for those who would rather cozy up with a coffee behind the windshield as they take in views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay. An Acadia sunrise (top); views of the Milky Way (bottom left); the summit of Cadillac Mountain (bottom right) (photos: Visit Maine)

The Berkshires, Massachusetts Film-worthy foliage Why fall: When it comes to epic East Coast foliage, this destination takes the cake. Vibrant colors can be spotted from an array of sites, including the top of Mount Greylock or Lenox Mountain (which is also accessible by horseback—another big autumn activity in Western Massachusetts). Those with an appetite for adventure will find it in the Berkshires, thanks to the area’s mountain resorts and the activities they offer. Be it biking, ziplining or whitewater rafting, each of these itineraries ensures even better views of these autumnal backdrops. Fall colors on full view in Lanesborough, MA (top, photo: Ogden Gigli), Tyringham village (bottom)

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Saugatuck, Michigan A Midwest fall escape with a focus on farms

Local treasures at Pennyroyal (top left, photo: Jill DeVries), Old Pike Road (top right, photo: Jordan Marentette), farmhouse cider (bottom left, photo: Marc Moran), Saugatuck Village Hall (bottom right, photo: Jill DeVries)

Why fall: Though the lake and arts community have long been draws of this Michigan town, its culinary presence is growing larger, thanks to its proximity to some of the area’s best farms and orchards. In fall the fun is just beginning, with new growth of apples and pears along with some of late summer’s best finds: apricots, cherries and peaches. Experience perfect produce firsthand with visits to a few local purveyors, including Gold Coast, Third Coast and Mud Lake, or peruse a medley of them with a visit to Pennyroyal Provisions’ Little White Barn and their farm-to-table menu. As a bonus (with a buzz), cap off your trip with a tasting at Virtue, a favorite for farmhouse-style hard cider.

Sedona, Arizona Peaceful trails that beckon adventure Why fall: Cooler temps and lighter crowds make it easier than ever to enjoy this high desert destination, which sits roughly 4,500 feet above sea level and lays claim to nearly 2 million acres of red rock—striking sandstone formations of buttes and mesas. Those postcard-ready sights alone deem Sedona worthy of a visit, but it’s the rugged terrain that beckons more active crowds— especially avid hikers and mountain bikers. The former can check out Llama Trail or the Teacup Trail, while the latter can grab their wheels for views (and modest-to-challenging rides) at Bell Rock and Slide Rock State Park. Hiking in Sedona (top left, photo: Visit Sedona); a vibrant gallery scene (top right, photo: Visit Sedona); a view of Teacup Trail in the distance (bottom, photo: Heather Hermen)

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